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Cassel fuels Pats past Dolphins

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Cassel threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns, leading the New England Patriots to a 48-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Randy Moss caught eight passes for 125 yards with three scores for the Patriots (7-4), who put the game away with 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and bounced back nicely from last week's overtime loss to the Jets. New England remained one game behind New York in the AFC East race, as the Jets won in Tennessee on Sunday to end the Titans' undefeated season.

Cassel, who also ran for a score, completed 30-of-43 passes and became the first Patriots quarterback to reach 400 yards passing in consecutive games. He threw for 400 yards last week against the Jets.

"I'm happy about it, there's no doubt," Cassel said his 400-yard passing mark. "I'm just happy about the fact that we were able to win and put together a great outing today and continue to move forward offensively. I think the production is starting to come around, and that's a good thing for us."

Wes Welker also burned his former team for eight catches and 120 yards in the victory, while Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis added rushing touchdowns.

Chad Pennington threw for a career-high 341 yards with three touchdowns and also ran for a score for Miami (6-5), which saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.

The Dolphins trounced the Patriots in Week 3 with a 38-13 victory in Foxboro behind five touchdowns from Ronnie Brown, who managed only 37 yards on 10 carries and failed to reach the end zone Sunday.

Miami's Wildcat formation accounted for four touchdowns and 119 yards on six plays in the first meeting, but the Patriots stifled it Sunday. On eight plays, the Dolphins netted only 25 yards and did not score.

"They did a good job," Pennington said of the Pats. "You have to give them credit. They came out and executed really well. I think this a time for our team to really look at one another and gut-check each other and ourselves and see what we want to do from here. I think we will respond, I think our coaches will respond, I think we have to do what it takes to get back in this thing."

The game featured six lead changes, the last coming on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Cassel to Moss with 6:12 remaining in the third quarter that gave New England a 24-21 edge.

Miami, as it had done three times previously, tried to answer with a lengthy march. The Dolphins reached the New England 27 before a holding penalty and a sack eventually forced a punt.

The Patriots followed with a quick strike for a touchdown. Welker caught a pass over the middle when Dolphins cornerback Will Allen fell in coverage, and the speedy receiver tip-toed down the sideline for 64 yards before being forced out of bounds at the Miami 21. Two plays later, Faulk raced through the middle of the line for a 21-yard touchdown run to give the Pats a 31-21 advantage on the final play of the third quarter.

Pennington responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Williams, who made a diving catch in the back right corner of the end zone, but Cassel marched the Patriots 80 yards on nine plays and hooked up with Moss for a 29-yard score to restore New England's 10-point margin.

There was no answer for Miami this time, as Brandon Meriweather picked off Pennington on the first play after the ensuing kickoff. The Patriots were unable to fully take advantage, as Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 41-28 lead with 7:08 remaining.

Ted Ginn had trouble on the following kickoff return and Miami was forced to start from its own one-yard line. The Dolphins eventually turned it over on downs at their own 44 and the Patriots tacked on one more touchdown when Green-Ellis scored on a one-yard run in the final minute.

The shootout featured a combined 922 yards, including a whopping 530 from the Patriots. Miami managed only 62 yards on the ground.

"It's nice to come down to Florida and win," New England head coach Bill Belichick said. "You know this hasn't been a great venue for us through the years. It's good to come out on top, a lot of player stepped up and played hard today."

New England took the opening kickoff and marched to the Miami 12 before settling for a 30-yard field goal from Gostkowski, then held the Dolphins without a first down on their initial defensive series.

Miami's defense followed with the game's first turnover when Jason Allen knocked the ball away from Moss and Renaldo Hill picked off the tipped pass. Hill's return to the New England 42 set up Miami's first score.

Pennington hit David Martin for 29 yards on the first play after the interception and a penalty for unnecessary roughness against Tedy Bruschi set up a first down at the New England three-yard line. Pennington then found Greg Camarillo in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead.

The Patriots answered with a 12-play march and went back in front on a quarterback draw by Cassel. He kept the drive alive early with a sneak on 4th- and-1 from the Miami 43, then capped the series on the first play of the second quarter when he dropped back to pass and found a huge opening in the middle of the field and raced eight yards into the end zone.

Miami was forced to punt and Cassel completed a pair of passes to Jabar Gaffney for 36 total yards to set up a first down at the Miami 28, but Sammy Morris fumbled on the next play to end the New England threat.

The Dolphins responded with a 12-play drive to take a 14-10 lead. Pennington converted 3rd-and-10 with a 15-yard pass to Davone Bess, then hit Camarillo for 20 yards on 3rd-and-12 and found Bess again for 10 yards on 3rd-and-4 before finishing the series himself with a seven-yard touchdown run.

Back came the Patriots, as Cassel hit Moss with a 25-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing series. Moss made a nice move at the 10-yard line to elude Jason Allen before reaching the end zone for his 130th career touchdown reception, tying him -- briefly -- with Cris Carter for third on the all-time list.

Miami had two more chances to respond, but the last drive before the half ended with a sack near midfield and the Pats went into the locker room with a 17-14 edge.

The Dolphins started the second half with a seven-play drive to move back in front. Pennington hit Ginn for 46 yards on the first play after the kickoff and found Camarillo for 16 on the next play, then capped the march with a two- yard toss to fullback Casey Cramer in the back of the end zone to give Miami a 21-17 edge.

Game Notes

New England hasn't been swept in a season series by a division opponent since 2000, when Miami and the New York Jets won both meetings that season...Miami's Channing Crowder and New England's Matt Light were each ejected in the fourth quarter following a scuffle...Pennington's previous career-best passing yardage was 339, set December 17, 2006 against Minnesota while with the Jets...Miami's Joey Porter posted a sack and has 14 1/2 this season...Welker notched his third straight 100-yard receiving game and became the first player in league history with at least six catches in his team's first 11 games...The Pats won last year's meeting in Miami by a similar score -- 49-28.

11/23 20:21:20 ET